jeanniegrayknits.etsy.com

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top 10 shows to watch while knitting

Here's my top 10 favorite shows to watch while knitting:

1.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2.  Firefly
3.  Weeds
4.  Supernatural
5.  the Pirates of the Caribbean series
6.  the Terminator series
7.  Castle
8.  Freaks & Geeks
9.  Glee
10. White Collar

Those are the movies & series that I am always happy to watch again, over & over, while I knit.  Toss one of those bad boys on the screen & I can happily sit & knit for as long as it takes for the series to run.  What are your favorites?  Any other Joss Whedon fans out there?

Monday, April 14, 2014

ABC's of yarn

The ABC's of my favorite yarns:

A is for Anzula Yarns
B is for Blue Ridge Yarns
C is for Crystal Palace Mochi
D is for Dream in Color
E is for Elsebeth Lavold
F is for The Fiber Company
G is for Great Adirondack Smoochie
H is for Hikoo Yarn
I is for Imperial
J is for Juniper Moon Farm
K is for Koigu Yarn
L is for Lorna's Laces
M is for Manas del Uruguay
N is for Noro
O is for Opal
P is for Prism
Q is for Queensland Collection
R is for Regia
S is for Sirdar
T is for Tahki Yarns
U is for Universal Yarns
V is for Valley Yarns
W is for Way Out Wonderful Yarns
X is for X-press
Y is for Yeti Yarns & Dry Goods
Z is for Zen Garden

What are your favorites?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

63,297

As you might guess from the title, I finished binding off the Wendy Knits Pi shawl.  And yes, my version has 63,297 stitches in it.  I'm a little surprised by that number.  It felt like more.


The pattern was a breeze to knit but it did start to drag on about half way through.  Probably because of all that white.  It wasn't the most stimulating of yarn choices.  I got a little lazy/impatient there at the end & stopped knitting 4 rows short of finishing the pattern's instructions.  But, I do like it.  It was the perfect pattern for that yarn and I can't wait to see it blocked.

The blocking process could get interesting.  I'm not sure I have enough blocking mats.  As is, the shawl measures 44 inches across.  I expect it will grow another 15 - 20 inches in width during the blocking process.  I may have to wait for my husband to go out of town so I can use our bed.  I wouldn't mind spending a night on the couch in the name of pretty lace, but I don't think  the spouse would feel the same.

Here's a close up of a few of the unblocked lace panels.


Okay, so unblocked it looks horrible but I'm still having fun playing with the new camera.

Here's a photo of the yarn when I started.


And here's what's left over.


And because I'm still playing with the camera, here's a photo of my lone daffodil.


What the heck is wrong with me?  I'm southern.  I live in the south.  Why can't I grow a yard full of daffodils?  The neighbors all have them.  The interstate's median looks like a scene from Holland.  My yard?  One daffodil.  One!  Or maybe it's not even a daffodil.  Maybe it's a jonquil.  I'm really not even sure.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pie

There's been lots of pie in my life lately.  I made a chocolate pie last week that I'd planned to share with you on Friday, but some how, it got eaten before it was photographed.  Darn!  Guess I'll have to make it again.

And then there's been pi.


I have finally started binding off the pi shawl.  It may take me a week to finish.  Good grief, it's got a lot of stitches!  It also doesn't look like much there.  Lace never does look like much until it's been blocked, plus it's sort of in a heap because most of the shawl is still on the needles.

I can't wait to block it.  Actually, I can.  I'm not a big fan of blocking huge, giant lace circles.  But I am super excited to see it after the blocking process when the lace looks like lace instead of a bunch of non-uniform stitches.  I also can't wait to see how big it actually is.

I also wish I knew what I was going to do with it.  As much as I love to knit circular shawls, I'm not a fan of wearing them.  Normally, I'd list it in my Etsy shop but since the pattern isn't mine, that won't be happening.

Meanwhile, in non knitting news...  My daughter got invited to go to Florida for six weeks.  There was a lot of last minute shopping for shorts & sunscreen.  There was a lot of "I'm going to miss you" hugs to share and even more laundry to do.  They pulled out early Monday morning, in the pouring down rain.  A few hours later, we got a call that their transmission had "fallen out" & the car was being towed to a nearby repair shop.  Luckily it turned out to be only a loose hose & nothing too serious.  They were back on the road within a few hours.  I hope the rest of their trip is a little less dramatic.

And even more concerning than my daughter taking off for six weeks....  The bear is awake.  He/she/it came strolling by this morning.  I happened to be out sweeping the porch off when the dogs suddenly came rushing out & began barking.  That's when I looked up & saw it.  Naturally, it was gone before I could get the camera.  So, instead of taking bear photos, I took pictures of Minnie.


She needs to wash her face.

Squirrel!



Nap time.

Monday, March 31, 2014

40,257

It may not look or feel like it, but I'm making progress.  I have already knit 40,257 stitches on the pi shawl.  For those of you wondering, that means I've finished the 4th pattern repeat on section 4.  Progress is slow going at this point, partly because of the 576 stitches per round & partly because this project doesn't travel well.  The yarn is on a cone which seems to grow approximately two feet in both diameter & height when I attempt to wrestle it into my knitting bag.  In hindsight, I should have balled the yarn off the cone but... it's an awful lot of yarn on that cone!  If I'd tried, I'd probably still be winding yarn instead of knitting with it.  40,257 stitches (and that's not counting the zillion projects I started with this yarn then threw away because they looked horrible) and you can barely tell I've used any yarn off the cone.  It really is a LOT of yarn!  I'm definitely getting my $4 worth out of this GoodWill yarn deal!

I've also made progress on my money soap.  Remember my money soap?  You can find that post here.  I finally got the money out.  It was $1.00.  But hey, a buck is a buck and the soap was nice & lasted forever.

I'm making progress on my to-do list as well.  I finally found the directions for how to set up my direct deposit for the local theme park paycheck (they'd been lost in the disaster zone I call a desk for a while now.)  Not only did I find the directions, I followed them!  I'm all set to receive money.  Receiving money is always a good thing.  And since yesterday was the first day of the new season, it was something I needed to do.  Quickly.  Having to go pick up an actual paper paycheck is a pain in the rear & takes longer than my pi shawl is taking to knit.

Another item on the to-do list is donating 40 bags of junk or large items to GoodWill in 40 days.  I'm up to 16 bags so far.  I'm running out of time though.  I really need to focus on purging my junk instead of counting stitches on the pi shawl.  Not to mention, I might need a valium just from knowing how many stitches that baby contains so far.

The other main goal on my to-do list has been to get the house ready for me to return to work.  In other words, it's clean.  Or at least as clean as it can be until I finish purging.  I learned from experience last year that not a whole lot of housework will get done over the summer.  Last year, I was classified as part time & averaged 55 - 66 hours per week.  This year, they have me classified as full time.  I'm a little scared.  If 55 - 66 hours per week is part time, what the heck is full time?  What ever it means, it will be okay.  I need the money.  I need a new car, a new computer & a new phone.  In other words, I need money!  And best of all, when things are slow at work, I'm allowed to knit.  It's not a bad gig at all!

The only thing wrong with work is that it's classified me as a working mother.  One day into the season & I've already missed a big life event for my child.  Zack bowled another 300 game yesterday & I wasn't there to see it.  For those of you wondering, a 300 is a perfect game, 12 strikes in a row.

Well, I'm off to, hopefully, raise my stitch count well above 40,257.  Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Nerves & knitting

I need heavy doses of Valium knitting today.  Knitting has always calmed me so today I am knitting.  Knitting frantically.  Knitting like my life depends on it.  Or, knitting like my son's life depends on it.  Why?  Because he finally got his driver's license yesterday.  Today, for his first solo trip, he's going to the bank, to the gas station then on to work.  Work is 42 miles away.  He doesn't get off work until 1:00 or 1:30 in the morning & will have to drive himself home.  Drive himself back home down those long, lonely 42 miles of darkened highway.

What have we done?  How did we allow him to pull out of the driveway alone?  My heart is jumping out of my chest & my husband has already started to drink.  How on earth do parents survive this?  Mike keeps reminding me that all the other parents out there have gone through the same thing and they've all survived, kids & parents alike.  But he forgets.  Our kid is much more special than those other kids and we love him more than other parents love their kids.  I need Valium and yarn.  Heavy, heavy doses of yarn.

One benefit to this total freak out I'm experiencing is that I may actually crank out the remaining million rows on a gazillion stitches of my pi shawl.  Or, my heart will stutter & my hands will shake & I'll drop all gazillion stitches off the needles.  Either way, I will be done with this shawl.

And I'm taking a deep breath.  I just received the text that the boy has finished at the bank & is moving on to the gas station.  He's still alive!  I'm going to go knit another row to celebrate.


Wow.  That photo is just wrong.  It's Magenta (one of the new mannequins) modeling the pi shawl, but it looks like a giant boob.  Not a great modeling job, but have you ever tried to take a picture of a gazillion rows of a gazillion stitches on circular needles?  It's not easy to show the progress being made.

And by the way, I'm loving the new camera except, look how small the picture is.  I need to figure out how to change that.  The camera is incredibly easy to use but the photo editing program is not.  Or maybe I should break down & read the manual.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Meet the girls

I have THE best husband in the world!  Look what he brought home...


Three girl mannequins.  It scared me at first.  He came in & said, "How'd you like some new girls?"  I thought he was offering me a boob job.  My next thought was puppies.  But mannequins are much better than new boobs or puppies.  Specially puppies.  Which is weird because I've been thinking we needed to add a small dog to our zoo but.... for that second when I thought he'd brought me puppies, I sort of wanted to kill him.

Anyway, since my original mannequin is male but likes to model women's shawls, he's known as Dr. Frank N. Furter.  It only makes sense that these ladies will be Janet, Magenta & Columbia.

So, don't I have the best husband?  He does commercial maintenance & renovations & was clearing out a store that was going out of business.  The girls were headed for the dump but Mike rescued them for me.


And of course, Dammit Janet is now stuck in my head.  Want to sing along with me?